Basenjis... redeeming qualities?

go to my website - its in the signature block I think - but if not and read the various articles including the Put Off and Doing the Breed a Disservice and other things about surviving life with a Basenji.

As long as you are and remain the pack alpha - there is nothing bad about the Basenji that love, UNDERSTANDING, and mutual respect won't overcome. I have had 8 at a time over the years (38 or them) and would never have another breed.


Intelligence, if you like intelligence they will not disappoint you.

Loyalty and bonding, they bond very closely to their owners once they get to know and trust them. You have to earn their trust and loyalty, but when you do it is worth that much more because it didn’t come easily.

Humor, they make you laugh if you have the “right” sense of humor. Some might not find it funny but others find them hilarious.

Grace and speed, they are very regal dogs who love to be admired for their majesty. They are really beautiful looking dogs.

If you have a strong but slightly dry /quirky sense of humor, if you enjoy a challenge, if you are intelligent and enjoy puzzles, then you may love the breed.

Many who want a dog look for loyalty and obedience, so they are disappointed when they get a basenji. They are like an odd tasting food, some will love the taste and rave about it, others will say that’s the most disgusting thing they have ever tasted lol.

@basenjicurious said in Basenjis... redeeming qualities?:

@crazysenji I’m from Indiana. There’s a breeder nearby that I’ve been thinking of messaging to ask if I could just come and meet her dogs to get a first-hand impression of them, but that feels so forward

That is not forward at all. In fact I'd think you would be more than welcome. The worst that could happen is they'd say "no". In which case no big deal.

I think Zande has the best information for prospective owners (some of it humorous) I've seen. The website is definitely worth a look.

Also keep in mind that even Basenjis from the same litter are all individuals with their own personalities. So information is more about proclivities than anything. That said, we've never had a dumb Basenji. Some are smarter (or dumber) at some things than others but they've all had things they are smart about.

Sadly, most isn't exaggerating... it is fairly realistic preparation. If you need an easy dog, a dog that is easy to train, on that won't challenge you or look for alternate ways to do what you said literally without actually complying, this isn't the dog for you.

The upside: Waking up to sayblee's nose gently touching mine to wake me up. The "not dog" smell. They eye contact and feeling of companionship more than a pet. Watching the cogs turn as they figure things out. Gaining their trust and love so they are willing to work with you.

Consider fostering one for a few weeks up to 2 mons and get a close person view of what it is like.

Like so many others here... I'm totally in love with my girl. This is our story...

She was 18months old when I brought her home. I tested leaving her in the house alone while I stepped out for a micro-minute. She wasn't so keen on the idea and chewed off the corners on my decorator pillows. Eventually, all of them. I found a solution for that. Then I went out and bought thread to "fix" her "modifications".

I've had her almost 18 months now. She even seems to comprehend that dozing on the bed in the AC is a better option than sitting in a hot car while "Mom" goes into stores she cannot go in. It's been a really long time since she's chewed up my pillows. She has free reign, 100% access inside and she behaves (even when she's alone). She comes running to the door to greet me as soon as she hears the key slide into the lock.

It took a couple months for us to learn how to communicate with eachother. She tries to let know if she needs something. I try to make sure she has it before she needs it. I make an effort to take her someplace (dog park, hiking, a really long walk, someplace new) 6 days/week. And she let's me mostly veg for a day if I need it. I couldn't have a better dog!

Why have a Basenji? I answer that question with a question....Why ride a roller coaster? There are amazing similarities in the answers to both questions. Think about it.

Indeed, why a basenji? I had a mental check list; hypo-allergenic, less than 40 pounds, personality...serval breeds fit this. I was doing research on other breeds when I came across this book about basenjis. In that moment, I was a goner. I LOVE the way they look. I didn't have dogs growing up, so I did a LOT of research. We got Rory, in March 1996, our very first basenji. She was such an easy basenji, so easy we decided lets get another! So in December of that same year we welcomed Tim her brother, who could not have been more different than night and day!! Honestly, had we gotten Tim first, I don't know that we would have been a 2 basenji home EVER, but for as much trouble as he was, he brought that much joy into our lives. We have 2 different basenjis now, 2 different personalities, and I wouldn't change any one of them. We adopted older dogs second time around, one with biting issues that were so bad we are his 4th home. Not everyone is equipped to deal with some issues. I'm not some miracle worker dog whisperer, it took years, of patience, reapatitve behavior modification on our part, some on his, and to be perfectly honest, my husband was afraid of the dog for the first 2 years we had him, but he didn't give up on him. We are now bonded as a pack. I would never not have 2 basenjis. I love how I feel when they are with me! Plus they are the coolest looking dogs!!

They are spectacular-looking dogs. We've had two purebreds and now own a mix. If you want a dog who will be wagging it's tail like crazy when you come in the door, that's not a basenji. I used to say if I "unzipped" my basenji, out would step a cat, and I like that. Think dog with a cat's smart and discerning personality and you have the basenji personality.

Having said that, they can be cuddle dogs who like nothing more than to cuddle by something or someone warm.

Some basenjis are not particularly dog friendly. And they DO shed. Oh, and they're not fond of RAIN.

@tanza I’ve only had two Basenji’s but it only took one to know I love the breed. But they are a handful😃

It’s great that you’re doing your homework on the basenji. I think the reason you read all these “horror stories” is because they are not your typical dog. They are a beautiful and highly intelligent breed with a very strong prey drive. My Kembe is my first basenji but I was familiar with the breed because my brothers were basenji owners. I got her when she was 1years old - she was returned to the breeder by the previous owners. Kembe has never been destructive, she has free reign of our house, and I can leave her at home alone. It’s extremely important to exercise them regularly - especially exercise and stimulate their minds, and establish a routine (I can set my watch to my dog). They are definitely trainable - it scares me to see how smart she is and also well behaved. Basenjis are extremely lovable and hilariously funny. If I have a treat that my dog especially likes - she will do her whole “repertoire of tricks” without me even asking her. She dances to let me know it’s time to eat and will sit right next to me and hit me with her paw when she wants to go for her walk.
I think our basenji chose us - when we went to the breeders home to look at her - She jumped up next to my husband on the couch and curled up! I was sold on her! I really hope you find a basenji that right for you!

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